Iconic old grounds will not host games in the summer competition

UEFA EURO 2028 will officially take place in the UK and Ireland, with ten stadiums across the British Isles selected to host games. 

However two of English football's most revered and iconic stadiums, Anfield and Old Trafford, will not be used as venues across any of the competition's games. 

Meanwhile the Ethiad Stadium, a sprightly 20 years old compared to Old Trafford - which opened in 1910 - has been chosen as a host ground. Also chosen was Everton's proposed near-53,000 capacity stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock, which is still under construction and is expected to complete in late 2024.

Fans from across Europe and beyond know they can expect an amazing welcome and celebration of sport and culture

While it may seem puzzling that Manchester City's ground - affectionately but erroneously known as The Emptihad - has been chosen ahead of its much more historic neighbour Old Trafford, this is down to Manchester United's plans to redevelop the stadium in the coming years. 

Meanwhile Anfield was not selected due to the size of the pitch, which would not have adhered to UEFA regulations. 

The inclusion of two North West stadiums in the list of ten is no doubt a boon for the region, and leader of Liverpool City Council, councillor Liam Robinson, trumpeted Liverpool's status as a football city, along with all the usual fluff about football DNA. 

“It is absolutely fantastic news that the UK and Ireland are to host UEFA EURO 2028 – with Liverpool to play a pivotal part of that tournament," he said.

“Our city has football in its DNA and fans from across Europe and beyond know they can expect an amazing welcome and celebration of sport and culture.

“From European Capital of Culture to Eurovision, Liverpool has an unrivalled track record in delivering diverse and inclusive events on behalf of Europe.

“UEFA EURO 2028 in Liverpool is going to be much more than games taking place on the pitch. We’ll develop a programme that will involve the whole city and wider Liverpool City Region that will give fans and visitors something truly memorable to celebrate.”

2023 10 10 Euro 28 Stadium Ethiad
Director of Manchester City Operations Danny Wilson and Cllr Bev Craig Image: Manchester City Council

Meanwhile Manchester City would possibly be expected as hosts due to the ever-growing facilities at the Ethiad Campus - including next door neighbour Co-op Live - lauded in the usual style by managing director of Manchester City Operations, Danny Wilson.

"Everyone at Manchester City is delighted to be a part of the UK and Ireland’s successful UEFA EURO 2028 bid," he said. "And we can’t wait to bring fans from across the country and Europe to Manchester to enjoy one of sports’ biggest spectacles.

"To be one of the few stadia across the UK and Ireland chosen to host the competition is testament to the club’s investment into the Etihad Stadium, and our vision to develop a best-in-class fan experience and year-round entertainment and leisure destination.”

The remaining eight grounds show the selection of host stadiums to be about as representative as possible, with each host nation making use of their national stadiums and the likes of the Midlands and North East also getting the opportunity. 

The ten stadiums and capacities are:

  1. Wembley Stadium, London (90,652)
  2. National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff (73,952)
  3. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (62,322)
  4. City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (61,000)
  5. Everton Stadium, Liverpool (52,888)
  6. St James’ Park, Newcastle (52,305)
  7. Villa Park, Birmingham (52,190)
  8. Hampden Park, Glasgow (52,032)
  9. Dublin Arena, Dublin (51,711)
  10. Casement Park, Belfast (34,500)

Ultimately, while trips to the Ethiad and Everton may bring rival fans out in hives at any other time of year, come the summer of 2028 the only badge on anyone's mind will hopefully be that of the national team.

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